Former Pro Bowl CB Dre’ Bly joining Lions’ staff as cornerbacks coach

Detroit News

Allen Park — The Detroit Lions are bringing back a familiar face to coach the team’s cornerbacks next season, hiring former Pro Bowler Dre’ Bly.

“I’m excited to announce that I have joined the Detroit Lions as the Cornerbacks Coach!,” Bly tweeted. “Thank you to Mrs. Sheila Ford Hamp and the rest of the Ford Family, DC Aaron Glen, GM Brad Holmes and HC Dan Campbell for an opportunity to come back home! #DetroitLions#OnePride Let’s Go!”

Bly, a second-round pick in the 1999 NFL Draft, played 11 seasons in the NFL, including four with the Lions from 2003-06. In Detroit, the playmaking cornerback earned Pro Bowl honors in both 2003 and 2004, tallying 19 total interceptions during his time with the franchise.

For his career, Bly racked up an impressive 43 interceptions and broke up 150 passes. For the past four years, he has been coaching the cornerbacks at his alma mater, the University of North Carolina. He left that position in January.

“We all love Dre’ Bly and appreciate what he means to the University of North Carolina as a Hall of Famer, an unbelievable advocate for the program, and an excellent coach,” Tar Heels coach Mack Brown said last month. “Dre’ and I mutually agreed to part ways so that he could explore other opportunities in the coaching profession. We appreciate everything he’s done for the program over the last few years and wish him nothing but the best moving forward.”

Bly got his start in coaching as an intern with the New Orleans Saints in 2017. That means he briefly overlapped with Lions coach Dan Campbell both there and as players in Detroit, during the 2006 season.

The Lions fired defensive backs coach Aubrey Pleasant in the middle of last season, with safeties coach Brian Duker taking on an expanded role leading the secondary down the stretch. Defensive assistant Addison Lynch also spent more time working with the position group at the end of the season.

Lynch since has left the team, while Duker will presumably drift back to working more exclusively with the safeties following the addition of Bly.

Bly is the latest move in Detroit’s coaching staff shuffle this offseason. Running backs coach Duce Staley is departing for a role with the Carolina Panthers staff, while Steve Heiden is being brought in to coach the team’s tight ends.

Twitter: @Justin_Rogers

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